Note: This article may contain commentary reflecting the author's opinion.

Jim Cooper, the Dean of the Tennessee congressional delegation, announced that he would forgo running for another term–Cooper has served since 2003. Cooper also served in the US House from 1983 to 1995. Cooper is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition–which is considered to be the more moderate wing of the Democratic Party. 

Jim Cooper’s announcement comes after state Republicans redrew his district during the state’s redistricting process. The Republican redistricting plan splits Davidson County–home to Nashville–into multiple districts. The proposed plan has sailed through the state legislature. Currently, District 5, Cooper’s district, stands at a partisan lean of Democrat +17. The proposed map puts District 5 at a partisan lean of Republican +15. Congressman Cooper charges that Republicans have “savaged Nashville…this is a cruel blow to all people of Nashville.” 

Cooper’s retirement marks the 29th Democrat to announce their decision to forgo running for re-election. 21 House Democrats are retiring from public office entirely, including Cooper. This slew of retirements comes as President Biden’s approval declines to an RCP average of 40.8. Historically, the incumbent President’s party sees losses during midterm elections. In 2018, 34 House Republicans decided against seeking reelection. In 2018, Democrats had a net gain of 41 House wins with an RCP generic ballot average of +7.3. The actual result on election day was D+8.4.

Currently, Republicans maintain a +4.1 RCP average on the generic ballot. Some polls even have Republicans at a +14 on the generic ballot. All Republicans have to do in order to regain the House is win 5 house seats; Republicans just need to win one seat to regain the Senate. That is, of course, if they can defend all of their current seats. Currently, 13 Republicans have announced that they will not run for reelection. 5 Republicans have announced that they will retire from the Senate. In those 5 seats being vacated by a Republican, 2 are considered lean R or tossup–North Carolina and Pennsylvania respectively. 

In the State of North Carolina, Trump-backed Congressman Ted Budd is facing former Governor Pat McCrory and former Congressman Mark Walker. In the State of Pennsylvania, it is not clear who the major candidates are. After Trump-backed candidate Sean Parnell withdrew from the race, the race has entered a free-for-all with TV doctor Mehmet Oz leading in the polls. However, in Georgia (seen as the Republicans’ best chance of flipping a seat), Trump-endorsed Republican Herschel Walker has raised nearly $10 million in his race against radical leftists Senator Raphael Warnock. Recent polling suggests that Walker leads Warnock with 47%-44%. However, when the margin of error is accounted for this becomes essentially a tie. 

With the dismal performance of President Biden, the new vacancy on the Supreme Court, and the radical agenda pushed by congressional Democrats, it has become more apparent that we need to take an active role in politics and our government. The retirements of many congressional Democrats show that they know what is ahead of them in November. However, don’t take this for granted–the only poll that matters is the one on election day.